Consultant in talks with Iraqi government over four contracts; opportunities for UK firms is ’unlimited’

Global project management and claims consultant Hill International is in talks with the Iraqi government to take on up to four national contracts to help rebuild the war-torn country.

Mohammed Al Rais, managing director of Hill’s Middle Eastern operations, said the firm was targeting “aggressive” expansion in Iraq amid projections for growth across most of its Middle Eastern business.

He added the firm would welcome UK entrants into the Middle East and said the opportunities there for UK firms were “unlimited”.

Hill’s most recent major deal in Iraq was to construct 500,000 homes and related infrastructure for South Korean developer TRAC in a deal worth $1.5 bn. US consultant Hill has also made no secret of its desire to acquire a UK QS firm.

Al Rais said the talks with the Iraqi government could lead to the firm setting up offices in-house within various government departments.

Hill claims to be the largest independent project and construction manager in the Middle East and is working on some of the region’s biggest projects including Abu Dhabi airport and King Abdullah Economic City.

Al Rais said: “We are always on the lookout to work with specialist companies and have good working relationships with many UK-based firms working here.

“There are also opportunities for specialist individuals from the UK as we recruit and expand our operations.”

Al Rais said there were growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia, while activity in the Emirates was picking up again.

Hill pulled staff out of Yemen, Libya and Egypt in recently months because of civil unrest but was back in Egypt “within a week”. The firm is watching the situation in Libya with a view to return.